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South Korea’s Science Ministry unveils metaverse strategy, ethical principles for industry operators

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has made public a metaverse strategy to guide the country’s foray into virtual worlds.

According to a press statement by the MSIT, the strategy will assist South Korea “to better respond to disruptive innovation and emerging new technologies, and be prepared for the future.” The roadmap rests on four major areas, which Head of MSIT Lim Hyesook says will give the country a headstart over others in the industry.

“The Ministry will ensure to implement the diverse support strategies faithfully so that South Korea can become a leading global metaverse country,” said Hyesook.

The first is the plan to create an enabling environment for metaverse platforms to thrive, while the second is to deepen the talent pool to find experts in the field. MSIT’s third area of keen focus is to “nurture leading companies specialized on metaverse,” which it says will be achieved by unveiling more funds and demonstration facilities for the industry’s growth.

Lastly, the MSIT says it is seeking to set a standard for metaverse ethics to prevent the misuse of technology by bad actors. To this end, the Ministry unveiled the “Metaverse Ethical Principles” during a ministers’ meeting at the Seoul Government Complex.

The ethical principles revolve around the three core values of sincere identity, safe experience, and sustainable prosperity. Zooming in further, the MSIT expands the core principles into eight ambits: authenticity, autonomy, reciprocity, respect for privacy, fairness, personal information protection, inclusiveness, and responsibility for the future.

Announcing an ethical roadmap comes on the heels of brewing conversations on the lack of laws surrounding the metaverse. The results stemmed from a collaboration of 12 experts in data protection, engineering, ethics, and law working with a pool of 2,626 respondents.

The rise of the metaverse

The metaverse has transcended being a niche area of Web3 to become a potential $10-trillion industry. Its growth has forced the government to take an interest in developing virtual worlds, with several countries launching metaverse strategies and institutions filing trademark applications.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dubai’s metaverse strategy is designed to improve the region’s digital economy and plans to create nearly 30,000 metaverse jobs. South Korea has unveiled several funds for creators in the industry, while the Philippines and China see universities play a larger role in the development of the industry.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, Masters of the Metaverse

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